Crispy Fried Whole Fish With Basil Sauce at Thailand's Center Point
The delectable-looking snapper is No. 25 in our 100 Days/100 Dishes series.
Thailand's Center Point is one of those small Thai cafes that grew up in the long shadow of Sripraphai. It started out as a grocery (by contrast, Sripraphai began life as a bakery), but two years ago split the space down the middle, pushed the dry goods to one side, and started a lively little café.
As with its inspiration, the cuisines of Isaan and Chiang Mai -- from the north and northeast of the country, respectively -- loom large on the menu, which includes pork jerky with raw ginger and hot dipping sauces, soupy and fiery jungle curries, sour curries, and favorite luncheon dish pig leg over rice.
The fish in question is a pink snapper, which arrives in a broth-y sour curry, heaped with a julienne of peppers that pack a little heat. The peas punctuate and the onions provide allium support. Served with sticky rice, it's an altogether satisfying dish.
Thailand's Center Point 63-19 39th Avenue Woodside, Queens 718-651-6888
100 Days/100 Dishes is an almost-random alphabetical collection of delicious dishes from around the five boroughs. See the entire series so far.
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